New PPS superintendent proposes budget for next school year

PITTSBURGH — It’s his first year proposing a budget as the superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools.

“I think it’s responsive to the situation that we are in right now. We have a lot to do in order to ensure equity, excellence and efficiency in our district,” said Dr. Wayne Walters, PPS  superintendent.

That’s the work Walters said he’s doing with the school board. But the two categories parents told Channel 11 they wanted to see investment is with safety and teachers.

“I would have liked to see a lot more detail into what this school administration is planning to do with these funds, how are they going to be allocated, what is the plan,” said PPS Parent Jen Duceour.

“Because just looking at the preliminary budget, all you see is $74,000 for security personnel and $25,000 for safety and security.”

“What in the world does $74,000 - $75,000 get you when you are talking about safety and security for our kids. That to me seems like it only goes to two security guards on the high end,” Duceour said.

When it comes to teacher salaries, there is a budget for an increase of $1.5 million, but the union said that money was already negotiated in their contract.

“We always want to put more to compete with the suburban districts. Plus we want to pay our new teachers since there is such a teacher shortage,” said Nina Esposito-Visgitis, the PFT  president.

But that’s not happening this year. It is a disappointment for parents like Duceour who wants  to make sure the district thrives for her son.

“We really need to invest in things that are going to assist our kids in the future not just in the hear and now,” Duceour said.

The school board will take all concerns from Monday’s public hearing and will vote on the budget at the Dec. 21 meeting.

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